Word-of-mouth referral is the original marketing channel and has been around for as long as our ancestors have been able to communicate. Every business generates customers through word-of-mouth referrals-some might not realize it while others rely on it as their primary source of lead generation.
With stats like that, why would anyone invest time or money into additional marketing channels, right? Not quite! Don't get us wrong. While word-of-mouth is one powerful channel, when working in tandem with your well-earned reputation, investing in a digital marketing plan will be your next, best business decision. Here's why:
1. An additional channel - actually, multiple channels - that reach more people.
Although very powerful, word-of-mouth (without the aid of digital marketing) is a pretty slow-moving channel. Digital marketing covers a wide variety of mediums, but we recommend focusing on your website, social media accounts, and search engine optimization first. A well-built, content-rich website will not only engage and educate leads, but it will also boost your rankings and chances of being found on search engines like Google (because page 3 is no place to be).
Further increasing your potential reach is social media-quite, possibly the world's greatest expansion of word of mouth marketing. If people spreading the good news about you and what you do is what's driving your business, imagine the growth if dozens, hundreds, or thousands of more people are talking about you?
2. Educate, educate, educate! Tell your leads what they need to know.
Word of mouth is the original source of search engine and social media marketing. You ask your cousin for a suggestion for a restaurant. What's next? Chances are you will probably engage in some type of research. Maybe you go on Google and check out Yelp reviews, or perhaps you go on Instagram to swoon over the mouth-watering dishes. Either way, you're seeking more information. It's the job of the business to educate you and tell you exactly what they want you to know.
3. First impressions matter. Second impressions do too.
For consumers, your online + digital presence are likely to be their first and/or second impression of your business. What do they remember? Is it a dated website, an abandoned Instagram account, or minimal reviews that don't reveal too much? Give leads something to remember! If you're easily found on Google, own an engaging website, & maintain an effortful social media presence, you're increasing your brand salience (the degree to which a consumer will consider you over the competition).
4. Digital marketing isn't new- it's evolved.
TV advertising, radio commercials, that old IBM in your parents' garage-those are all forms of digital marketing. Fast forward to 2018. Internet & computing technology has provided us with more ways to reach our audience.